Amplify, Search, Retarget: How a PPC Guy Spends a Media Budget of $50 a Day

Ehud Basis
Ehud Basis

I’m a PPC guy.

My goal is to optimize our paid media spend as Outbrain’s Online Marketing Manager.

I use audience knowledge to focus on high-quality opportunities where I can deepen segmentation and nurture new users with powerful brand creative and smart targeting, all at an effective cost per acquisition.

Given my lengthy experience with Google Adwords, Facebook, Twitter, and Outbrain Amplify, I know there are a lot of options and many different tactics for approaching online paid media.

It can also get very expensive. Very fast.

Working with a limited budget makes it tough to know where to invest.

In a series of posts, I’ll show you a variety of strategies for effectively spending a paid media budget of just $50 a day.

That way, you can just focus on who exactly you want to reach, and what you want them to do.

Here’s my amplify, search, retarget strategy:

Step 1: Amplify Earned Media ($25)

In a new study, Moz uncovered data revealing that 67% of consumers are influenced by online reviews.

While peer reviews online offer great social proof, in addition to great Google search ranking benefits, earned media via things like business, product or service reviews, are great for brand reputation.

And did I mention they also moonlight as great content for paid promotion?

They are great for creating brand search demand, allowing me to get in front of new audiences.

Let’s use this following piece of content as an example:

Creating demand by amplifying earned media

And let’s assume that I’m the email software provider featured in this article on Inc.

Armed with this earned media, I’ll designate $25 to a campaign with Outbrain Amplify.

If you aren’t sure what’s been said about you online, you can do a brand name search via Google Alerts for any new online mentions you might be unaware of.

Step 2: Meet Search Demand ($10)

By running my campaign with Outbrain Amplify, I’ve created demand for searches regarding brand terms. Now, my goal is to make sure I am at the top of the results page on Google to grab those potential users.

Capture the demand with search

According to comScore, Google still leads in search with a 64% market share.

That’s where a huge portion of potential readers are going to be searching for my content.

Now, I want to create a new AdWords campaign, or “ad group” for an existing campaign I might already be running for brand keywords–allowing me to measure the results of this activity.

As demonstrated by Google’s Keyword Planner, I almost doubled the brand searches for a company after amplifying their earned media with Outbrain.

Tip: There are no better-converting keywords than brand keywords.

I’m going to use $10 and include anything that might be relevant, or would make a powerful case for a user to click-through to the content from my campaign.

Elements to consider when setting up your brand campaign:

  1. Article source and brand keywords (Sanebox, Inc.)

  2. Related searches for article mentions (email software covered by Inc., email manager covered by Inc.)

  3. Typos or incorrect keywords (sanbox, sinbox, sane box, sin box)

Using a smart, performance-driven landing page, I’ll aim to grab leads generated through the search demand I just created by amplifying my content with Outbrain.

It’s important to keep in mind that almost 50% of searches come from mobile these days, with consumers spending more than 15 hours per week doing mobile research.

If your page isn’t fit for mobile, I recommend decreasing the mobile bid by -100% to prevent a bad user experience.

Use Google’s mobile-friendly test to find out if your content (page) is optimized.

Step 3: Retarget Visitors on Facebook ($15)

Research from Forrester has shown that it typically takes 11.4 pieces of content to make a purchase decision.

I’ve amplified my content using Outbrain to create that first digital touch point with the reader, and now it’s time to attempt to reconnect with them through remarketing.

More than 700 million people visit Facebook every day on their phones and tablets.

That’s a huge opportunity for me, or any SMB looking to stay top of mind in the eyes of their target audience.

Thankfully, you can create custom audiences based on people who have visited your website and retarget them with content that will bring them further along in the content funnel.

Here’s a potential content ad I could create with $15, aimed at getting those whom I’ve exposed previously, to take the next step by engaging with a helpful post on my company blog.

sanebox facebook ad - retargeting

If you don’t have experience with Facebook’s retargeting feature, you’ll need to:

  • Add a custom audience pixel to your site that will help identify your website visitors

  • Create a custom audience on Facebook that will help you retarget those website visitors

  • Implement the pixel on your Outbrain campaign for tracking on specific content initiatives

Making the Most out of Your Budget

The best way to make the most of out of your budget is to play around with it.

While this is only one, the general strategy for working with even a small daily budget of $50, I have found it relevant to verticals. Whether you are an SMB, or large brand looking to bring new audiences down the funnel, it can be really easy to do so using these tactics.

While you can be flexible with your spend, I do recommend combining these three efforts to ensure maximum coverage of the customer journey.

By running activities across these three major platforms, each with their own capabilities, you create an ecosystem for your content, diversifying your exposure and creating a cohesive web experience with your brand online.

What do you think of my strategy? How would you spend $50 a day on online media?

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Ehud Basis

Ehud Basis

Ehud is Head of Growth Marketing at Outbrain. He previously led the PPC teams at Conduit and eTeacher, using his breadth of knowledge to analyze and optimize performance to achieve company goals. Ehud lives in Israel with his wife, 6-year-old son and 1-year-old baby girl. He loves following basketball from all around the globe.